| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 319, 7 September 2009
Welcome to this year's 36th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Continuing with our series of first looks at small and minimalist distributions, Caitlyn Martin tries xPUD, a 50 MB live CD with an unusual user interface, suitable for netbooks and web kiosks. Is xPUD ready for prime time? Or does the version number of 0.9 indicate that the distro still needs some polishing before it can be considered a competitor to Moblin and similar projects? Read on to find out. In the news section, the new Slackware Linux 13.0 maintains much interest in the Linux user community, Lubuntu announces the first testing release of its lightweight distribution that combines Ubuntu with LXDE, Debian prepares to replace the old SysVInit start-up system with the more modern upstart, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 arrives with a new virtualisation option and many new kernel patches. Also in the news, fans of BSD on the desktop will be thrilled to learn that DesktopBSD is back with a new release, while Mandriva developer Colin Guthrie tells us about his recent work on Compiz and PulseAudio. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the DistroWatch.com August 2009 donation is the Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS) project. Happy reading!
- Reviews: Taking a look at xPUD 0.9
- News: Slackware 13.0 in the news, testing Lubuntu, openSUSE with LXDE, Debian and upstart, DesktopBSD update, RHEL 5.4 feature summary, interview with Mandriva's Colin Guthrie
- Released last week: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4, Zenwalk Linux 6.2, Frugalware Linux 1.1
- Upcoming releases: DesktopBSD 1.7, openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 7, FreeBSD 8.0-BETA4
- Donations: LMMS receives US$250
- New additions: Kuki Linux
- New distributions: Lighthouse Pup, Oxinus Linux, Torinux
- Reader comments
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|Feature Story (by Caitlyn Martin)
Taking a look at xPUD 0.9
In the three months since I wrote an overview of Debris Linux I have received numerous requests for more reviews of mini Linux distributions from DistroWatch Weekly readers. Since then I reviewed CDlinux 0.9.2 Community edition and Jesse Smith took a look at the latest version of Puppy Linux. This week we look at an even smaller and more unusual distribution from Taiwan called xPUD. At just 51 MB total size, xPUD is almost as small as Damn Small Linux (DSL) was. xPUD, unlike DSL, is not aimed at legacy hardware with very limited resources. Instead it seeks to provide a very simple, kiosk-like desktop environment with just a few basic, modern tools run entirely from RAM. As a result the minimum RAM required to run xPUD is 384MB.
xPUD is based on Ubuntu, with ideas borrowed from Damn Small Linux. What sets it apart from other distros is a new, experimental web-based user interface, called Plate, which integrates the Mozilla Gecko runtime into the desktop. The result reminds me of some of the desktops designed specifically for netbooks as seen in Moblin, Android, and Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Plate is touted as being very easy to use. Another goal for xPUD is a very fast boot time.
xPUD is available as a live CD ISO image or as an image IMG file designed to be dropped into an existing operating system install (Windows or Linux). The distro is then run directly from the compressed image in the file system of the host operating system, similar to a KNOPPIX poor man's install or a Damn Small Linux frugal install. A graphical installer is available for Windows systems. While there is no installer for Linux, clear instructions are offered on the same page: just copy the xPUD image to the root directory of the host distribution and create a new entry in the /boot/grub/menu.lst file. Instructions are also included for creating a live USB stick.
For this review I used my 8-month old Sylvania g Netbook Meso (1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB HDD). This system seems particularly appropriate as the release announcement for version 0.9 touts netbook support including the ASUS Eee PC, Acer Aspire One, MSI Wind, Lenovo IdeaPad, and Dell Mini. I had intended to try out xPUD on my old Toshiba laptop, but unfortunately the Trident graphics chipset appears to be unsupported and booting yielded a blank screen.
Booting Into xPUD 0.9
I decided to try all three methods of booting into xPUD. Using an external USB DVD drive I was able to boot from a mini (3-inch/8-cm) CD I had burned. When you boot from a live CD you are presented with a menu of eight language choices: simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. After I selected English the Plate desktop came up rather quickly. xPUD loads itself entirely into RAM so performance is very good on my system even when booting from CD.
The drop-in (frugal) installation instructions were simple and accurate. I rebooted the netbook, chose my new GRUB menu entry for xPUD, and was booted directly to the Plate desktop in seconds. The developers claim that the desktop should be up in under 10 seconds. On my system it was no more than half of that. I don't have a stopwatch to time it but all I can say is that the claims of a fast boot time are certainly justified.
I was not able to successfully create a live USB image. The link to a customized UNetbootin build is no longer valid. I downloaded the latest and greatest version of UNetbootin for Linux. When I ran it I found that xPUD was listed in the menu of distributions. A bunch of files were copied to my USB stick. I rebooted, taking the time to check the BIOS to ensure that booting from the USB drive was still the first choice. For whatever reason the system didn't find the stick to be bootable and went on to boot from the hard drive. I tried repeating the process from a different Linux distro and had the same results. I also tried providing the ISO image without specifying the distro from the menu and had the same results again.
Using xPUD 0.9
xPUD boots directly into the GUI and automatically logs in as root. No login screen is presented and no password is required. There is no option within the GUI to set or change the root password or to create a user account. The same security concerns Jesse Smith expressed in his review of Puppy Linux two weeks ago apply equally to xPUD. The only method available to set a password is to open a terminal and use the passwd command.
xPUD default Plate desktop, Home tab
(full image size: 153kB, screen resolution 800x600 pixels)
Once booted the Plate desktop presents you with four icons on the left hand side of the screen which serve as tabs. The Home tab gives you some basic system information: day and time, network status, battery charge and free memory. There are four large icons with descriptions below the System Information bar: WiFi, Get Help, Power Off, and Switch Mode. Since my network was listed as offline I clicked on WiFi to change that. A window appeared asking me to choose a network but none was listed and the Refresh button didn't change that. I had to cancel and still had no connectivity.
The bottom Setting tab does offer the option of setting up either wired or wireless networking. The WiFi setup option was even more discouraging as the Network Device list was also blank. I was more successful with the Ethernet setup. I selected DHCP and clicked on the Connect button that appeared. It was replaced with a grayed out button that said "Done." Returning to the Home tab showed that I was now online.
The Menu tab gives you a list of available applications. There are only six of them: Firefox, Transmission, GMPlayer, GPicView, Geany and xterm. That's it. All work takes place in the right hand window in the open tab. The applications can be maximized to use the full screen with a typical maximize button in the tab window. This is pretty well essential on a small netbook screen.
The browser is a pre-release build of Firefox 3.5 which still identifies itself as Shiretoko. Naturally I wanted to update this if I could. There is no package manager in xPUD. There is something called Opt-Get in the Setting tab but clicking on it only offers the opportunity to install three things: the Adobe Flash plugin, Skype, and a selection of media codecs and browser plugins. There is no ability to install any other applications at all from within the GUI and no opportunity to upgrade existing applications despite the fact that Opt-Get installs the three packages from the Medibuntu repositories. If you run xPUD you are stuck with a browser with known bugs and known security vulnerabilities and no easy way to upgrade.
The xterm terminal proved to be a lifesaver. First I was able to set the root password. The lsmod command showed that the rt73 driver needed for my wireless chipset was correctly loaded and ifconfig showed that wlan0 was configured as my wireless interface. I found that all the command-line wireless tools and wpa_supplicant were included in xPUD. Going old school and working from the command line I was able to get my wireless connectivity working. I never was able to get the GUI to recognize wlan0 or see the available network. At least xPUD was now usable on my netbook without being tethered to a wired connection.
Next I tried to use GMPlayer to listen to an mp3 file. It appeared that the track was playing but I had no sound. I went to the Setting tab, clicked on sound, and found my volume was near the maximum. I went back to xterm and ran "alsamixer" from the command line. Only then was I able to turn up the volume and listen to the mp3 file. The other applications all worked as expected.
Plugging in a USB stick or an SD card produced an unexpected result: nothing at all. There is no desktop icon and there really is no place to put one. There is no graphical tool to manage removable media. HAL is not included in xPUD and neither is a lightweight alternative. Once again the solution was to go back to the xterm window and to manually mount the devices. Fortunately I knew what devices were likely to be assigned by my system. A newcomer to Linux would likely be lost.
Plate definitely has some quirks. If I click the X at the top right of the tab to close Firefox it works as expected. If I choose File -> Quit from the menu then Firefox closes and I am left with an empty white tab. If I go back to the Menu tab and select Firefox again I still just get empty space. The only way to get Firefox back is to click that X at the top right as if closing the empty tab. I found this to be rather counter-intuitive.
xPUD does offer a set of additional hardware drivers as a gzipped tarball from their web site and a tool in the Setting tab allows them to be installed en masse. There is no method for choosing just the drivers you might need nor is a list of these drivers provided anywhere. You can, of course, uncompress an untar the archive and look at what's there if you're comfortable at the command line.
xPUD default Plate desktop, Setting tab
(full image size: 199kB, screen resolution 800x600 pixels)
The File tab provides a list of mount points which exist in the /mnt directory regardless of whether or not anything is actually mounted. Clicking on a mount point which points to a mounted file system browses that file system. On my system one partition on my hard drive was auto-mounted by xPUD but the others were not, including the partition I typically use as /home. Once again, the only way to mount or unmount anything is to open xterm and do it at the command line. The setting menu offers a backup tool to "save your data and your changes." The icon is a USB stick but in reality the tool allows you to save to any mounted file system. This would be user-friendly if there was a way to mount or unmount from within Plate.
In Firefox I noticed that some symbols and non-Latin characters were not displayed properly. I checked my GMail account and mail that was in Hebrew was illegible. This is not surprising in a distro that is so very small. The fonts provided are the absolute minimum necessary to make the supported languages work.
In general I found working with Plate frustrating. I tend to multitask quite a bit. There is no way to move from application to application without going back to the appropriate tab. When you switch back and forth between applications the state of the various applications is preserved. From my perspective moving back and forth via the tabs is an inconvenient way to do things. Perhaps if my only interest was casual web browsing and checking e-mail this wouldn't be an issue. However, I recognize that I am probably not representative of the target audience for xPUD.
xPUD feels like a work in progress. The distro already delivers on the promise of a very fast boot. The Plate user interface is reminiscent of other netbook user interface designs but is definitely unique on some ways. There are some very good ideas here and some design innovations. There are also a few quirks that need to be worked out.
In order to be a user-friendly operating system a few more tools will need to be added, particularly for handling removable media. Wireless support from within the GUI will also have to be improved. The Ralink wireless chipset used in my Sylvania netbook is also used in many other netbooks and larger notebook systems. The fact that it worked properly from the command line indicates that the problem lies within Plate as the hardware support is already in place. It would also be nice if there was some method of adding applications similar to what Tiny Core or Damn Small Linux do to make the distro more flexible and more appealing to a variety of users.
The real question is how small does xPUD need to be. Adding functionality would undoubtedly force the distro to grow. The developers will need to make a choice between keeping things really tiny, making the distro more modular, or ending up with a larger image in order to add what is needed to make xPUD user-friendly. Some sort of methodology to update applications and install security patches would also be very helpful and would alleviate some of the security concerns. A handful of distros do this despite being designed to run from a compressed image in a frugal installation. Finally, it would be nice if xPUD took a page from CDlinux, Damn Small Linux or Debris Linux and ran as an ordinary user by default rather than as root.
All in all the version number starting with zero is appropriate for xPUD. This is a promising little distro with great potential, but it isn't quite ready for prime time just yet.
|Miscellaneous News (by Chris Smart)
Slackware 13.0 in the news, testing Lubuntu, openSUSE with LXDE, Debian and upstart, DesktopBSD update, RHEL 5.4 feature summary, interview with Mandriva's Colin Guthrie
Last week, the veteran of Linux distributions, Slackware Linux, announced the availability of version 13.0. This new release saw the introduction of great many enhancements, including the switch to KDE 4 and an updated X.Org. Slackware is famous for leaving the power in the hands of the end user and letting them decide what their system will be like. Have you wanted to try Slackware yourself, perhaps even on a netbook? Self confessed Slackware newbie Daniel Armstrong has done just that, posting a very informative article about how to perform this very task on an ASUS Eee PC. He uses Fluxbox as his desktop environment (although you could pick another favourite), showing how to install and configure the system to be netbook-friendly.
Elsewhere in Slackware land, you may have heard that the latest release has now introduced official support for 64-bit systems. In light of this, Linux Magazine has an interview with Eric Hameleers, the man responsible for the port. Eric discusses his motivation behind the move to 64-bit and why you should consider Slackware. He recalls the time when founder Patrick Volkerding first tried it, saying: "Then he installed the first semi-finished version somewhere in December 2008 - about the time Slackware 12.2 was released. He ran several computational benchmarks on Slackware64 and was instantly hooked when he saw speed increases between 20 and 40 percent for some of the benchmarks, compared to 32-bit Slackware. That marked the moment when it became a team project - the others installed it too, and some switched entirely to Slackware64." Even though it's the oldest surviving distro, Slackware is one of the last major ones to go 64-bit. The wait, however, has well and truly been worth it.
Still on the topic of Slackware. While the distro has finally taken the plunge to KDE 4.x, it does not ship with the latest stable version. KDE 4.3.1 is now out with thousands of bug fixes, but the version of KDE included in Slackware Linux 13.0 is still 4.2.4. So while it was perhaps the right choice to delay the migration to the new generation, this older release might still not be a welcome addition for many users. If that's you, then why not take a look at the GNOME SlackBuild instead? It offers the latest tried and tested stable release of GNOME 2.26.3, in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds. It aims to provide a "fully functional desktop, including a wide range of multimedia, graphics, and development tools, as well as a complete networking and office suite." If KDE 4 doesn't instil confidence in you, perhaps it's time to give GNOME a spin for a while...
* * * * *
"Karmic Koala", the next version of Ubuntu, is approaching fast and, with it, the introduction of a new *buntu - Lubuntu. Yes, it's yet another desktop remix of the popular distribution - based on LXDE (Lightweight X Desktop Environment), which is built on Openbox. The project has, for the first time, announced the availability of live images for testing purposes. These images are designed to showcase the LXDE desktop and provide a taste of what Lubuntu will become, and has no installer. The project is focusing on a truly lightweight offering, something that is not quite yet available from the growing catalogue of official Ubuntu subprojects (yes, even with Xubuntu). The LXDE desktop itself, and indeed Lubuntu, offers a lot of promise for lower-end machines. However, there is still no word whether Lubuntu will be accepted as an official Ubuntu subproject (as Kubuntu or Xubuntu had been) and the distro still doesn't have a real home other than a rather meagre page on the Ubuntu Wiki. If you'd like to take a look or help with bug fixing, you can download the live CD image from here: lubuntu-9.10_lynxis_b14.iso (342MB).
Lubuntu 9.10 Beta 14 - the project's first public release
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Speaking about LXDE, this relatively new desktop project is also making its presence on the openSUSE distribution. Last week, Andrea Florio announced the availability of a community live CD with LXDE, built using SUSE Studio. Feedback from users testing the live CD appears to be very positive. With the recent openSUSE announcement that the installer in the upcoming version 11.2 will default to the KDE desktop (with GNOME and Xfce desktops available as options), some users would welcome another, a less resource-hungry choice. Will we ever see a truly lightweight option included on the official media? With all the LXDE interest around at the moment, it looks like it's going to be one hot desktop for older machines. Have you tested it on your favourite distro?
* * * * *
The stable releases of Debian GNU/Linux might never be cutting-edge (and for a good reason), but that doesn't mean that the project is still in the dark ages. For example, an announcement published last weekend shows that the project has decided to move to a more event-driven boot framework such as upstart, developed by Ubuntu in 2006. Changes to the way the kernel works has made the more traditional SysVInit system more fragile, and the cracks are starting to show. With the platform as a whole moving further towards an event-driven system, scripts following a rigid numbering system can fail as required components are not yet ready. Such issues can include things like trying to mount a network share before the network is up and configuring audio channels before the devices are ready. Migrating to a dependency-based init system will help to solve this problem. Indeed, this was introduced into Debian unstable in July and will be the default method for the upcoming release - Debian "Squeeze".
* * * * *
Good news for the fans of FreeBSD on the desktop. DesktopBSD, a FreeBSD-based operating system pre-configured for the desktop, has been revived - after some 20 months since the last stable release and hints by lead developer Peter Hofer that the project might not see another release. Luckily, it looks like he has changed his mind, with regular snapshot builds starting to appear on the project's FTP server recently and a new 1.7 directory showing up over the weekend. To affirm the excellent news, the project leader has also confirmed the upcoming release in this forum post: "Mirrors are still in the process of catching up, so I think I'll release on Monday." Be warned, however, that DesktopBSD 1.7 comes with KDE 3.5.10 as the default desktop, rather than the new KDE 4. And while on the subject of desktop BSDs, a quick note that the PC-BSD project has released its first alpha build of PC-BSD 8.0 (with KDE 4.3.1), based on the upcoming release of FreeBSD 8.0.
DesktopBSD 1.7 - the first stable version in some 20 months.
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* * * * *
The world's number one enterprise Linux vendor, Red Hat, announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 last week. Technology website H-Online has taken a look into this new release to see what new features are shipping with the latest build. As always, enhancements include an updated kernel which provides support for a range of new devices. Perhaps the biggest and most important improvement, however, is the inclusion of virtualisation technology, KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine). Although it has been in the kernel since version 2.6.20, Red Hat has only recently begun pushing this technology over other virtualisation solutions, such as Xen. Red Hat's dedication to KVM was made official when they acquired Qumranet, the original author of the technology. With Novell hot on their heels and lots of competition in the virtualisation space, can this latest product help maintain their position at the top of the Linux table?
* * * * *
Finally, we end with an interview from the official Mandriva blog. Colin Guthrie works for his own web development company in Edinburgh and has been contributing to Mandriva since 2006. So what does Colin do for the project? In his own words: "Well, traditionally I've looked after the more pointless bits! I generally take an interest in Compiz for the pointless eye candy and this has led me to help out with most of the X subsystem due to the bleeding edge requirements Compiz placed on X in the early days." He also looks after PulseAudio for the distribution: "This has been a software system I've been pushing for the last couple years. I'm quite passionate about music (can't produce it but I do like appreciating it) and the way the audio system worked on Linux before PulseAudio really annoyed me. Now that is has come along, it has literally revolutionised my view of audio on Linux and while it's not without its problem on some hardware, I'm fully committed to pushing it as a solution." Does PulseAudio actually work properly yet, or are distros "pushing it" out before its time?
|Released Last Week
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4
Red Hat has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.4: "Red Hat is pleased to announce the availability of the latest update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, release 5.4. New in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 is a reorganization of the release note material; now the release notes are a condensed set of major release highlights. The following list summarizes improvements in this release: hardware - 10 GigE drivers with GRO support, FCoE support on standard NICs, SR I/OV support; system - kernel tracepoints for systemtap use; per process I/O accounting, FIEMAP support; virtualization - hypervisor scalability to 192 CPUs, additional hypervisor - Kernel Based Virtual Machine (KVM)." Read the release announcement and release notes for further information.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 brings a large number of kernel patches and various virtualisation enhancements.
(full image size: 1,107kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Tiny Core Linux 2.3
Robert Shingledecker has announced the release of Tiny Core Linux 2.3, an updated version of the world's smallest desktop Linux distribution: "Tiny Core Linux 2.3 is now posted. Change log: updated flwm replaces JWM as default, use jwm-snapshot extension for the latest JWM; new official Tiny Core logo added to base; new flit an Fltk GUI toolbar for battery, date, and sound controls in flwm; new 'noautologin' boot code; new 'appsaudit' GUI; new tce-audit command-line script engine for 'appsaudit'; new tcz2ram.flg placed in tce directory will cause all TCZs to be loaded into RAM; upgraded BusyBox to 1.14.3; updated tce2tcz.sh to use Squashfs; updated xsetup.sh to remove the xorg.conf requirement to support X.Org without configuration file; updated appbrowser to support the new tce-load option flags, and tcz2ram options, as well as both install and mount buttons for TCZs...." See the rest of changelog for further technical details.
Zenwalk Linux 6.2
Jean-Philippe Guillemin has announced the release of Zenwalk Linux 6.2, a Slackware-based distribution with advanced package management and Xfce as the default desktop: "Zenwalk 6.2 has been released. Zenwalk 6.2 is mostly new code (nearly all packages have been updated), and the base system has been slightly modified (ext4, Linux kernel 184.108.40.206). The switch to LZMA for package compression has reduced the overall size of the ISO image (490 MB) while allowing us to provide more applications and drivers. Here's a summary of the other important changes: the new XFCE 4.6.1; OpenOffice.org 3.1.0 (fast, optimized version); new Netpkg featuring a refined interface, rollback support and instant install with dependencies control; a complete set of HP printers drivers are included; faster boot (tuned init scripts); bus auto-detection in the installer (will choose appropriate kernel depending on the architecture, SATA, PATA, SCSI)." Read the complete release announcement for more information.
Zenwalk Linux 6.2 - a Slackware-based distribution with automatic hardware configuration and advanced package management
(full image size: 320kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Frugalware Linux 1.1
Miklós Vajna has announced the release of Frugalware Linux 1.1, a general-purpose distribution designed for intermediate Linux users: "The Frugalware developer team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Frugalware Linux 1.1, our eleventh stable release. No new features have been added since 1.1rc2, but 177 changes have been made to fix minor bugs. Here are the most important changes since 1.0: up-to-date packages - Linux kernel 220.127.116.11, glibc 2.10.1, X.Org 7.4 with X.Org Server 1.6, GNOME 2.26.3, Xfce 4.6.1, GCC 4.4.0; major review in the documentation; an 64-bit Flash plugin is now part of the default installation; major update of the graphical installer (fwife); packaged Android SDK for those who want network access through their Android phones; new artwork includes a new wallpaper and a new GNOME theme." Here is the full release announcement.
Frugalware Linux 1.1 - a complete desktop and server distribution with over 5,000 software packages
(full image size: 1,425kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
August 2009 DistroWatch.com donation: LMMS receives US$250.00|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the August 2009 DistroWatch.com donation is LMMS (Linux MultiMedia Studio), a free digital audio suite of applications for Linux and Windows. It receives US$250 in cash.
The donation was requested by a reader who had tried LMMS and was instantly impressed: "Within the first five minutes with LMMS, I had figured out how to mix and match instrument sounds and put them on a track to edit them. It doesn't just focus on editing, but on production as well. LMMS comes with a plethora of instrument sounds that can be played using a simulated keyboard that interfaces with the computer keyboard. The keyboard is complete, allowing you to hit the whole range of notes and then edit them later. It has extensive equalizers, mixers and wave graphs all designed in an intuitive way so a novice like myself could understand them."
The reader continued to praise LMMS as an excellent tool that can be used by any music production enthusiast: "LMMS is exactly the kind of program Linux has needed for years. For quite a while, Mac OS and even Windows have had the upper hand on music production simply due to a lack of good open-source alternatives. With LMMS, I feel Linux could now be a competitive operating system for music production. I have a feeling that within 10 minutes one could make background music for a game or a nice background beat for a vocal. Could you please consider it for your next donation? It seems like a very worthy candidate that could really help advance Linux on the desktop."
The latest version of LMMS is 0.4.5, which can be downloaded as source code from the project's download page. Binary installation files for Ubuntu, openSUSE and Pardus Linux are also available from the same page. For screenshots please see this page.
This monthly donations programme is a joint initiative between DistroWatch and LinuxCD.org, an online vendor of popular Linux and BSD CDs, which contributed US$50.00 towards the donations to LMMS.
Here is the list of projects that received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$21,783 to various open source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NdisWrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250).
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Lighthouse Pup. Derived from Puppy Linux, Lighthouse is a quick and easy-to-setup, full-featured operating system. It offers several media players, GIMP image editing, optional KDE and Compiz-Fusion eye-candy, and accessibility components. It has modular design with numerous add-on packages, including Lighthouse Mariner, Voyager, OpenOffice.org or Opera.
- Oxinus Linux. Oxinus is an Ubuntu-based desktop distribution designed for Greek speakers. All audio and video codecs, drivers for Intel and NVIDIA graphics cards, 3D desktop acceleration using Compiz, along with Flash and Java plugins are included. The default desktop is GNOME with a distinct theme. The project's web site is in Greek.
- Torinux. Torinux is an Italian desktop Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. The project's web site is in Italian.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 14 September 2009.
Caitlyn Martin, Chris Smart and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Full list of all issues|
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|Random Distribution |
Hybryde Linux was an Ubuntu-based distribution for the desktop. Its most unusual feature was an option to switch rapidly between multiple desktop environments and window manager without logging out - the list includes Enlightenment 17, GNOME 3 (GNOME Shell and GNOME 3 "Fallback" mode), KDE, LXDE, Openbox, Unity, Xfce and FVWM. This was achieved via a highly customisable Hy-menu, which also allows launching applications and configuring the system. All open applications are carried to any of the available desktops. The system offers an interesting way to work fluidly in a multi-desktop environment.